Forty Days of Prayer for Quilters Day 31: Notice

While I was preparing for the Catholic Book study in the parish the themes of Notice, Check-in, Support, Encourage (yeah this one is a shocker right) and Delight came to mind and will help me complete these Forty Days of Prayer for Quilters. Over and over again in both the fall and winter session God has stood my understanding of Scripture, of these stories that I thought I knew. I’ll admit that sometimes I read Scripture without giving consideration to the more of what’s happening in the story. It seems like something rather straightforward and clear, the reality is that there’s always more, something deeper than what I’m seeing and hearing. And in all honesty I’m probably more open to that understanding now than I’ve been for years. There’s probably a better way of phrasing this, that I’m uncertain of the words at the moment.

Sharing faith, flaws and great beauty

While I was making quick cinnamon rolls yesterday I listened to a couple of days of the Ascension Press Bible in a Year podcast There were several things that caught my attention in the listening and hearing the most important thing though is that God longs to be in relationship with us, in order for this to happen We get to say Yes or No.

I used to believe that I knew the story of Creation and of the Fall in the Garden. I do and the my understanding of the story probably is still incomplete. More often than not attention is drawn to Eve’s conversation with the snake, Adam bailing on his bride, the stitching of the fig leaves to hide their nakedness (shame) and God calling for them. God knew where they were, that they were hiding from them, what I didn’t realize until yesterday is that God was offering them the opportunity to tell the truth of what happened. On my part there was a tendency to belive that this was a one and done moment, wherein the snake beguiled Eve into eating the fruit of the Tree, it probably was not. More likely it was an on-going drip by drip, tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick ticktick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick ticktick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick ticktick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick ticktick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick ticktick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick ticktick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick tick of a conversation. When you have a kid ask and ask and ask and ask and ask for ice cream sometimes you’re just going to give in because it’s easier.

Part of what I’d not realized until hearing the podcast is that there’s more here, God expells them from the Garden yes. He goes further though and “sacrifices” a couple of animals to make leather to properly clothe them. He explains that rather than the properly ordered self-gift of love and yearning for one another things would change, that the love they had for one another would become sacrificial Adam sacrficies in hard, laborious work for Eve; for Eve bearing children becomes sacrficial in it’s experience of pain and heartache. Oh for the words to adequately describe the beauty of this Action from God restoring their relationship with Him, although now it’s different. Showing them that they would have to work harder on their own relationship as a married couple. That the freedom and self-donation, unreserved self-giving would now be marked with reservation and self-sacrifice. Oh how I wish you could be in my head in that moment both yearing for the relationship of the Garden and yet eternally grateful for the Gift of Jesus. Oh HAPPY FAULT!

And then there’s the hearing of the brothers Cain & Abel and why God wasn’t satisfied with Cain’s offering. Cain wanted the best for and from Cain, Cain offered of the things that were left over. How often do I do that? Do I give the Lord of the First of my time, talent & treasure? And herein is why practicing Lent is such a necessarily repeatable experience, because this season calls us to give of the First Fruits of the time & talent & treasure we are gifted with. If Cain’s offering had been this is what I have right now Lord and this is the best I can do I suspect it wouldn’t have even made it into the story of our Salvation History, Abel would have lived.

This noticing of the more to the story continued in the chapters we covered in our book study. In His earthly life Jesus had some really incredible relationships with women. There are times where the surface read or cursory read it looks like Jesus is calling them out, however over and over and over and over again Jesus is calling women into right relationship, restoring dignity to women, not letting them get tossed aside like so much chaff. Women supported Him in his ministry providing food and shelter. He heals them, they become evangelists. As Mary sits at his feet listening to Him and Martha buzzes around doing the things that need doing and getting more annoyed with her sister Jesus says to her, (my translation) “daughter this is for you too, come, sit, listen, the rest of this can wait” Jesus yearned to have that deeper relationship with Martha, she needed to make the move to Have that time with Him. Oh how like Martha I am doing the things that need doing when Jesus is teaching.

You will be shocked to know that I passed by the ice cream even though there are some really amazing flavors available today. Not because of Lent because I didn’t give up sugar.

Then there is the moment of the Incarnation, where Mary is asked to bear the Son of God. I can almost feel the stillness, baited breath from the moment Gabriel finished asking Mary if she would do this, until she offered her, “Yes!”

Quilts tell the tale. I often say I know where all the bodies are buried in my quilts. I know where the missteps are, I know where I was reaching too far. I know when it doesn’t look precisely the way I see it in my head. What I often fail to remember is that there are other stories that my quilts tell such as “I stuck with it” “that was a daring choice” “I finished it” “This one caused heart ache” “I want to make this one again” “I tried something new” “I used some not so pretty language here” “Oh I remember that one where the thread uptake lever hit me in the head” and “Wow! I did it!” There was a reason the first quilt teacher I had said for us to say, “Look at what I did!” rather than pointing out our flaws. I can see the penchant for pointing out the error of our ways. Funny thing is in my faith life I don’t go around telling people (unless it’s necessary and I need to apologize) that I’m a flawed human being. At some point (after 30ish years) they might find out. Oh wait, I can be really snarky so yeah, uh. Um.

So sometimes our quilts have things to say to others that we don’t immediately see. Perhaps it is the “go ahead and give this a try” or “see even this best of show has some bits and pieces of character” or “Wow! did you see how this quilter used the metallic thread?” or “This speaks deeply and I just want to stand here and take it all in.” or “bit feisty isn’t she!”

One thing you don’t necessarily see in my quilts it that there is some deep insecurity, a longing to be a unique individual and yet be a faceless part of the crowd. I want so much to be noticed and yet go unseen. I want my quilts to speak deeply to your soul and show you that you can do this machine quilting one stitch at a time. Because like the walk of faith quilts are made one stitch at a time. Quilting and Faith are a practice that includes noticing how God is working and speaking and moving. Just like saying, “Yes” and “No” as we make choice after choice to make something beautiful and useful we say “Yes” and “No” in our life of Faith. My heart longs to say “Yes” to the movement of God in my life even when His answer to my petition is “No” or “not yet”

It is time for me to go quilt. I’m going live on Instagram in a few moments you can find me @terilucas.

May the Lord see you through this Lenten journey with a spirit renewed by His Grace and in His Mercy.

God bless,

Teri

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